LACHIE Neale knows the value a phone call can have.
So once Deven Robertson's name was read out by Brisbane at last Thursday's NAB AFL Draft with pick No.22, the All Australian midfielder was the first to pick up the phone and get in touch with his new teammate.
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Neale had watched the teenage West Australian sit through the first night of the draft and go unselected, and knew how much a call would mean after a tough 24 hours.
"Having spent a bit of time in WA … I'd been tracking him a bit and saw him win the Larke Medal and thought he might be a bit of a player," Neale told AFL.com.au.
"Fages [coach Chris Fagan] texted me and said we were a big chance to try and grab him and once we did I sent (personal excellence and wellbeing manager) Andrew Crowell a text and asked if I could give him a call to check in and welcome him.
"It means a bit more than just a text message."
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Neale called - a conversation captured by Brisbane's media team - and told the draftee he was "stoked" to have him at the Lions.
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Neale is a South Australian and said he often watched the under-18 national championships to cheer on his home state, but seven seasons with Fremantle also ensured he kept an eye on the WA talent.
Robertson arrives in Brisbane on Tuesday and will be moving in with … you guessed it, Neale and his wife Julie.
"I expect good things from him. I think he's going to be a really good kid, be a sponge, learn as much as he can as quickly as he can," Neale said.
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"I get the sense he'll have a point to prove to a lot of people, judging off what he's said in the media and my conversation with him.
"I don't think he'll sit back and wait.
"I'd be very surprised if everyone taken before him had a better career."